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Balancing Infrastructure Development and Community Livelihoods: Lessons from Tanzania's Natural Gas Pipeline

Colleagues,

 Oxfam in Tanzania recently commissioned a research on ' Balancing Infrastructure Development and Community Livelihoods: Lessons from the Mtwara- dar es Salaam Natural Gas Pipeline' . The full report is available for download here http://www.hakirasilimali.or.tz/reportbalancing-infrastructure-deve...
The research findings and recommendations (detailed below) are particularly important in light of further oil and gas infrastructure plans particularly the construction of the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline.

The Mtwara – Dar es Salaam natural gas pipeline project was implemented under the National Natural Gas Infrastructure Project (NNGIP) whose aim was to address the infrastructure gap in the natural gas sector. The construction of the 542-kilometre pipeline took place between 2013 and 2015. The pipeline passed through 113 villages, 41 wards, 8 districts, 4 regions and 1 marine park.

Findings 

Some members of the displaced community, especially those that had other pieces of land, were happy with the compensation offered by Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC).  TPDC drilled a borehole that pumps 75000 litres of water a day in Madimba in Mtwara region and China Petroleum Technology and Development Corporation (CPTDC) donated money for the completion of a secondary school laboratory in Madimba and the acquisition of an ambulance boat.

Affected communities were dissatisfied with the general consultation process. TPDC relied primarily on village meetings as a key consultation space, in spite of existing evidence that these meetings tend to attract low turnout, especially for women

TPDC did not fully disclose compensation terms or information on the pipeline construction project. Lack of transparency contributed to feelings of dissatisfaction, unrealistic expectations and misinformation among the people affected by the project.

Compensation standards provided in national laws and policies were not applied consistently across the project area. Compensation in Msimbati ward varied considerably, compared with compensation offered in Kiranjeranje. While affected people in the former (Msimbati ward) received disturbance allowance and rent payments, those in the latter (Kiranjeranje) did not, and even had to spend their own funds to travel to Kilwa district council to collect their compensation, and such costs were not refunded.

Affected people, especially those that had to relocate as a result of physical displacement, were not resettled and did not receive alternative land or housing as the focus was on monetary compensation

Recommendations

1.  Develop and implement Resettlement Action Plan to enable project affected people to restore their livelihood and sustain it. The process for developing a RAP should be inclusive and transparent.

2.  Ensure adequate community consultation in land access and resettlement processes to ensure that project affected people have the relevant information they need and are able to make decisions while fully aware of consequences. Information should be made available in a timely and accessible manner and a mechanism for raising questions, concerns and grievances should be established to provide community members access to recourse for negative impacts.

3. Standardize compensation standards and ensure timely payment. Compensation should be implemented according to the national standards and offer full replacement at market value for loss of land, assets and crops. Transparency of compensation standards will help to ensure realistic expectations and fair and consistent treatment of affected groups. Timely payments are necessary to avoid additional losses and allow affected persons to adequately plan for relocation.

4. Preserve the sanctity of land and respect cultural heritage to preserve harmony especially when it is necessary to relocate important social-cultural sites such as graveyards. Ensure such impacts are captured in impact assessments and thoroughly discussed with affected community members

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